Did Orwell smoke opium in Burma?

George Orwell spent five years working as a police officer during the 1920s before unexpectedly resigning to become a writer. There is compelling circumstantial evidence […] 

Review: Untitled (Past, Present, Future)

Visiting the Stedelijk Museum with my family, after three rewarding but long days of getting value for money from our museum discount card, was one […] 

Shared fictions

‘Human power depends on mass cooperation, mass cooperation depends on manufacturing mass identities – and all mass identities are based on fictional stories, not on […] 

Review #GeorgeOrwellOnScreen

My positive disposition towards George Orwell On Screen (Adaptations, Documentaries and Docudramas on Film and Television) – before ever getting to read it – was due to David […] 

Collecting Orwell: A Kind of Compulsion*

*Originally published in George Orwell Studies There are few 20th century writers as collectable as George Orwell. Rare book auctions regularly fetch extraordinary prices, especially for his […] 

Skara Brae and V. Gordon Childe

Tourists strolling the ancient, Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae will note the site owes its “current presentation” to the Australian archaeologist who excavated it between […] 

A Wider World View: India-Australia Exchange

Cultural exchange is a very important value for our school. “A Wider World View @DHS” is a broad program encouraging and nurturing intercultural understanding, school […] 

The Diaries of Henry Osborne (Part 2)

Reading Henry’s diaries is taking longer than expected. Tumbling down the research rabbit hole every few pages is a time-consuming pleasure. Is that book Henry mentioned available readily online? How […] 

Building the Windmill (or knocking it down again?)

“…the animals toiled harder than ever, thinking it well worth while to plod to and fro all day with blocks of stone if by doing […] 

Who We Are and How We Got Here by David Reich #review and my #reading in April

“The breakthrough that all archaeologists have been waiting for; a truly exciting account of the way in which ancient DNA is making us rethink prehistory. […] 

The Diaries of Henry Osborne (Part I)

“A sub-deputy’s job was to supervise the poppy growers in his district and make sure the crop was cultivated in the most efficient way. The […] 

The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton #review and my #reading in March

You’re a kid, you don’t know anything. Mum said school mighta been different for me if I only give a damn. Maybe it was wasted […] 

#Essays #TheRubofTime #FeelFree #review and my #reading in February

The day-to-day business of compiling a novel often seems to consist of nothing but decisions – decisions, decisions, decisions. Should this paragraph go here? Or […] 

Parents and Education in NSW

Recently I overheard a conversation between parents in a bookshop. They were struggling to understand NAPLAN, “minimum standards” and what a “band 8” actually meant […] 

Lost Connections by Johann Hari #review and my #reading in January

“We have been systematically misinformed about what depression and anxiety are.”                              […] 

George Orwell and William Shakespeare

George Orwell aka Eric Blair (1903-50) is now clearly second only to Shakespeare in the pantheon of English literary giants. In our current contemporary context, […] 

#MyHouseofSky #JABaker #review and my #reading in December

“There is no mysterious essence we can call a ‘place’. Place is change. It is motion killed by the mind, and preserved in the amber […] 

The #hashtag and the #citizen: living with #paradox

We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.                      […] 

A Baker’s Dozen: Most Enjoyable Reads of 2017

Reviewing the books read or re-read in 2017, I chose the thirteen (sic) most satisfying reading experiences for the year. In other words, I reflected […] 

Dæmon Voices #review and my #reading in November

Philip Pullman’s Dæmon Voices – Essays on Storytelling is pleasurable reading for English teachers, students, writers and anyone who loves stories. Best known for the […] 

La Belle Sauvage #BookofDust #review and my #reading in October

“But the meaning of a book is never just what the author thinks it is. It’s a great mistake to rely on the author to […] 

Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools (draft submission)

This is my 3300 word draft for the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. Any feedback/criticism is warmly welcomed. The final submission is due […] 

MyData: Personalising the Curriculum

Recently I presented DNA: Personalising the Curriculum at the WHAT IF? Embracing complexity through curriculum conference which has reinvigorated my belief that we need to make some profoundly important changes […] 

Personalising Learning in the Age of Knowledge

“The greatest history book ever written is the one hidden in our DNA.”                           […] 

#TheirBrilliantCareers #review and my #reading in September

“Actually, most of my previous publications listed in ‘Their Brilliant Careers’ are made up! It’s all part of the joke. The only real one is […] 

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